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Film / The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

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The Heartbreak Kid is a 2007 romantic comedy directed by the Farrelly Brothers starring Ben Stiller, Malin Åkerman and Michelle Monaghan. It is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name. Nothing to do with Shawn "The Heartbreak Kid" Michaels.

Eddie Kantrow (Ben Stiller) is a single man who is afraid of having a serious relationship. One day, Eddie witnesses a woman being robbed in the street. He tries to help, and fails miserably. Despite this, the woman named Lila (Malin Åkerman) is grateful for the help. The two go out on a date and quickly engage in a relationship. Lila is gorgeous, kind and adorable, charming Eddie. However, Lila reveals to Eddie that the company she works for will force her to move to Holland... unless she is married. Pressured by his father and his best friend, Eddie asks Lila to marry him.

Unfortunately, during their honeymoon trip, Eddie discovers that Lila is far from the perfect human being she appeared to be. Lila turns out to be an ignorant, obnoxious woman with a history of drinking and drug abuse, owing money to several people, working as a volunteer and with an addiction to wild (and painful) sex.

During their honeymoon in Los Cabos, Eddie has already lost all the love he felt for Lila. And then the situation worsens when he meets one of the hotel's guests, the beautiful and kind Miranda (Michelle Monaghan), and falls madly in love with her.

This film has examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Lila becomes this to Eddie after they get married and he discovers what a nasty, needy human being she is.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Bordering on Adaptational Villainy at times. Lila in the original film was a nice woman overall but also was a walking collection of persnickety little flaws. This film's version of Lila is best described as a Psychotic Womanchild.
  • All Women Are Lustful: After the wedding, Lila reveals an insatiable appetite for sex. Unfortunately for Eddie, Lila enjoys rough sex, which is particularly painful for him...
  • An Aesop: It's better to be single than to be with the wrong person.
  • Awful Wedded Life: Just a week of honeymoon with Lila is enough for Eddie to want to divorce her and get away with another woman.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Well, that depends on whether you consider Lila the antagonist of the story, which is debatable among viewers. Anyway, not only does Lila not get punished for abandoning Eddie in Mexico after destroying his documents, she also gets his shop and most of his money in the divorce. The final scene shows her clearly happy with her life.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Eddie only wanted to marry someone because he was afraid of becoming a lonely person for the rest of his life. He ends up marrying Lila, who turns out to be a horrible human being that he definitely doesn't want to spend the rest of his life with.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted. Lila is a beautiful woman, but a horrible human being, as Eddie finds out in the worst way possible after marrying her. Played straight with Miranda, who is beautiful and by far the most likable character in the film.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved:
    • Eddie and Miranda go to see a 'traditional Mexican dance' at a fair, which turns out to be between a woman and a donkey.
    • The post-credits scene shows Lila in bed with a horse, screaming that she's finally found a lover who gives her what she wants.
  • Betty and Veronica: Eddie is Archie, Miranda is Betty, and Lila is Veronica. Miranda is a beautiful sweet and gentle woman, who dresses conservatively. Lila is an exotic, sensual, rude and completely crazy woman.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Lila, who doesn't reveal her myriad of annoying habits, mood swings, and oddities until after the wedding.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: The twins who accuse Eddie of being gay and later start a rumor that his wife was killed by an ice-pick murderer.
  • Butt-Monkey: Eddie, especially after marrying Lila. He has to put up with her constant insults, forced to have painful sex with her, and is humiliated by her in front of the woman he really loves, Miranda, and her entire family.
  • The Cameo: Eva Longoria as the second wife of Eddie in the final scene.
  • The Chew Toy: Eddie is on the receiving end of all sorts of abuse and humiliation throughout the movie.
  • Chick Magnet: At the beginning of the story, Eddie is a guest at his ex-girlfriend's wedding and for the rest of the film he gets the interest of three women: Lila, Miranda and Consuela.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Lila is clearly crazy, although Eddie only realizes this after marrying her. For example, Lila apparently thinks that within 10 years she and Eddie will be elderly, refuses to admit that it was her cocaine addiction that caused her deviated septum, thinks it's funny to throw a bottle stopper in Eddie's face, and after a fight, she suspects that Eddie married her to steal her money (Eddie immediately points out that she has nothing and that he is the rich person in this marriage).
  • Control Freak: Martin is the morality police of Miranda's family and is a little too protective of her. Also, Mac's wife and Lila to a lesser extent.
  • Country Matters: Lila calls Eddie this when he tries to treat her sunburn.
  • Cringe Comedy: Eddie is humiliated by his wife (although she doesn't realize what she is doing) in front of the woman he loves and her family in the third act.
  • Dirty Old Man: Eddie's father, played by Jerry Stiller. He has an obsession with "crushing pussy" and even suggests that he and Eddie go to Vegas together to tag-team women.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: After the wedding, Lila abuses Eddie both physically and sexually. The abuse is played for laughs. But if the genders were reversed, then it would be a different story...
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Lila has sex with Eddie so vigorously that he even screams in pain. Instead of stopping, she hits him and insults him during sex. It's all played for laughs. If the genders were reversed, none of this would be funny.
  • Family-Values Villain: Although he's arguably more of a Hero Antagonist, Martin seems to take moral offense to drinking, smoking pot, and pornography.
  • Fan Disservice: Lila's extremely unkempt private area, shown in all its glory when she urinates on Eddie to relieve a jellyfish sting.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The fact that the thief insists to Eddie that the things he is stealing from Lila are his, as well as his panicked look at seeing Lila approaching him, already shows that there is something very wrong about Lila...
    • The fact that Lila insisted on not wanting to have sex with Eddie during the beginning of their relationship seems initially to be a genuine feeling on her part... but considering what is revealed later, it may also be a sign that she did not want to scare him away with her addiction to rough and painful sex.
    • Lila mentioned that she had to be peed on to relieve the pain of a jellyfish sting during her volunteer work. Guess what happens to Eddie later in the movie?
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: The entire plot of the film happens because of this. Eddie decides to propose to Lila despite having only been dating her for a month, which is exactly the same time period in which he has known her.
  • Gratuitous Mariachi Band: Eddie is pestered by one at the resort.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Brutally subverted. Lila is blonde and in the first act she appears to be a sweet, kind, adorable, delicate, pure and innocent woman (going so far as to insist on not having sex with Eddie until their relationship becomes serious). Then Eddie marries Lila and he (and the viewer) discovers that she is crazy and nasty, addicted to wild sex.
  • Here We Go Again!: Played for Laughs. Miranda reunites with Eddie in Los Cabos and decides to give their relationship a second chance. When she leaves, it is revealed that Eddie is married to another woman and that he is cheating on both women in the same way he has Lila and Miranda in the past.
  • Hope Spot:
    • When Miranda looks out the window to watch Eddie leave near the end of the film. Naturally, he screws it up again.
    • Tito gives Eddie a small one, making him think Miranda still wants him [Eddie], before saying, "Screw off, I'm joking!"
  • Humiliation Conga: The man-o-war scene near the end, as well as Eddie's attempts to cross the border.
  • Insatiable Newlyweds: After the marriage, Lila only thinks about having sex with Eddie all the time, and he finds out in the worst possible way that she's addicted to rough sex and it's particularly painful to him.
  • Jerkass: A lot...
    • Lila seems to be a lovely woman, nice and perfect at first sight. After marrying Eddie she reveals herself to be an unpleasant, ignorant lout who's addicted to rough and painful sex, has many debts and admits to lying about her job and the identity of her purse thief (in fact, it was her ex-boyfriend whom she owed money). The movie does not confirm whether she intentionally or accidentally hid her worst faults from Eddie until she married him, and at other times she seems to be really just a naïve woman unable to realize how problematic she is, but apologizes to Eddie and seems to love him. And although Eddie was really a jerk with her in the second half of the movie by cheating on her with Miranda on their honeymoon, there's no denying that Lila destroying his money and passport before leaving him to his own fate was very wrong.
    • Eddie had every reason to divorce Lila after finding out about all the problems she hid (intentionally or accidentally) from him before marriage. But cheating on Lila with Miranda during her own honeymoon, even lying and manipulating her emotionally to make her feel guilty, even after she sincerely apologized... Well, let's just say that Eddie deserved all the bad that happened to him in the third act. And judging from the final scene, he doesn't seem to have learned anything.
    • Martin is an incredibly nasty human being who has antagonized Eddie from the first meeting for no reason despite Eddie having done no wrong (yet), and whose attempts to protect his cousin Miranda are a little creepy.
  • Karma Houdini: Lila is not only not punished for having abandoned Eddie without his documents and money in Mexico, but on top of that she gets almost all of his assets in the divorce.
  • Large Ham:
    • Malin Åkerman becomes that whenever Lila is sad or angry.
    • Ben Stiller in the third act of the film, when Lila and Miranda discover what Eddie did and his life turns to hell.
  • Love Triangle: Eddie marries Lila, who turns out to be a nightmare, and on their honeymoon, he falls in love with Miranda.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Miranda is a beautiful, down to earth woman with seemingly everything going for her.
  • Marital Rape License: Rare wife-on-husband example. Lila is addicted to wild, sado-masochistic sex that is extremely painful for Eddie, but she refuses to stop even when he makes it clear to her that he is in pain.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Lila, played by the beautiful actress Malin Åkerman, is in a bikini or naked often.
    • Though eclipsed by Lila, Miranda wears much shorter and sensual clothes, played by Michelle Monaghan.
  • Never My Fault: Surprisingly averted with Eddie as he doesn't blame Lila for causing him to consider cheating on her and admits that he's responsible for everything that happened to him.
    • Played straight with Lila, who blames her sunburn on Eddie. In her mind, he provoked her into wanting to prove him wrong about how powerful the sun is in Mexico.
  • No Social Skills: Uncle Tito propositions Lila for a hand job when he brings her room service. He justifies it by saying that he assumed Eddie had no boundaries due to him cheating on Lila with Miranda and bringing him a porno tape from Mac.
  • Only Sane Man: Or woman in that case. Miranda is undoubtedly the most sane and rational person in the movie, although the competition is also not the best: Martin, her paranoid and belligerent cousin; Eddie, the immature man who is cheating on his wife on their honeymoon; and Lila, who is... well, Lila. The rest of her family is also pretty grounded and chill, besides Martin.
  • Overly Long Gag: The montage of Lila singing along to EVERY song on the radio on their way to Mexico, while Eddie is clearly thinking about blowing his brains out.
  • Papa Wolf: Eddie's father when Martin attacks him with a baseball bat.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Lots of this. Thanks to a rumor started by the Bratty Half-Pint twins, Miranda's family thinks Eddie's wife was murdered, and he takes it to mean that they know about Lila's abuse and feel sorry for him because of it. Also, Eddie keeps getting interrupted when he's about to tell Miranda the truth until he simply decides it's easier to hide the fact that he's married.
  • Psychopathic Woman Child: Lila. Among other things, she refuses to wear sunblock in Mexico and then accuses Eddie of "siding with the ozone" when she gets a horrific sunburn.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Eddie receives one from a Mexican local he thought was deaf-mute when he won't stop obsessing over Miranda.
  • Reverse Psychology: Eddie prevents Lila from joining him with Miranda's family by telling her that they're going on a boat, knowing that she gets seasick, and pretending to want her to join anyway.
  • Running Gag: The increasingly annoying mariachi band that always shows up at the worst times.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Lila to Eddie and Eddie to Miranda near the end.
  • Sympathetic Adulterer: Averted. All the characters think Eddie is a monster because he is flirting with another woman on his honeymoon; even Eddie himself admits what he's doing is repulsive.
  • Symploce: Eddie using it as an example for something for Lila to say to her boss to not need to relocate and instead stay with him, and ends up starting the formation of them marrying to stay together:
    Eddie: Can't you just tell them, "I won't do it. I can't do it. I wanna be a researcher, but I'm not, you know, I'm not gonna..."
    Lila: Eddie, this is my career. I can't say that.
    Lila: So, they don't move married people. It's policy.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Eddie is pretty level-headed at first, but goes into full-on psycho stalker mode by the end of the film. Not to mention that he spends his honeymoon trying to cheat on his new bride. Yeah, she's a complete psycho, but still...
  • World of Jerkass: With the exception of Miranda, almost every main and supporting character in this movie is a horrible human being. Eddie tries to cheat on his wife on their honeymoon, Lila is completely crazy, Doc and Tito are two perverts, Rob is a spiteful and unhappy man in his marriage, Martin is controlling and obnoxious and the Bratty Half-Pint twins make things much harder for Eddie.